(VIDEO) Steve Flink On Australian Open: "I wouldn't Be Shocked To See Serena Williams In The Final, But I Would Be If She Wins" - UBITENNIS
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(VIDEO) Steve Flink On Australian Open: “I wouldn’t Be Shocked To See Serena Williams In The Final, But I Would Be If She Wins”

Can Ashleigh Barty be competitive after a one-year hiatus? Serena Williams is chasing her 24th Major, while Sofia Kenin will be a defending champion in a Slam for the first time.

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Naomi Osaka - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

Despite a delay of three weeks, the first Grand Slam tournament is about to start in Melbourne, and Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta has analysed the draws for the event with Steve Flink, his Hall-of-Famer colleague. As it has been the case for a few years now, the women’s event is the hardest to predict, with many players who have a shot at making a deep run – who will actually manage to, according to our insiders? 

 

VIDEO SCHEDULE

0:00 – Ashleigh Barty’s tenure as the world number one is unprecedented, since she hadn’t played in almost a year before this week – will she be the favourite? 

02:20 – A brief digression on the approach of the Australian government to the tournament – was the two-week quarantine over-the-top or was it further proof of the good job done by the island in repelling the virus? 

07:16 – The defending champion is Sofia Kenin, how will she handle the pressure? “She’s a big event player, but she’s never been in this situation before…” 

08:10 Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep might square off in the semi-finals – who would have the edge?  

10:10 – The Rumanian has a tough draw: in the quarter finals, she might face Sabalenka or Serena Williams. What are the chances of the American legend? “She needs to win a lot of quick matches, the further she’ll get the more she will struggle physically.”

12:30 – Before potentially facing Williams, Halep could find herself in a rematch against Iga Swiatek: “The Pole destroyed her in Paris, I wonder whether she might do the same here…” 

13:50 Osaka has some tough match-ups ahead as well, since Muguruza, Andreescu and Kvitova are all on her path – will one of them be able to stop her? “Andreescu is probably lagging behind in terms of conditioning, she hasn’t played in over a year…” 

14:50 “The upper half of the draw is totally unpredictable, but I think that Kenin is among the three favourites to win it all…” 

18:20 – Back to Serena – can she make it back to another Major final and equal Margaret Court’s record? “I think she has become a little weaker from a mental standpoint ever since she lost the 2015 US Open semi-final against Vinci…” 

21:40 – Martina Navratilova and the psychological stress of playing at an older age… 

23:20 – So, who will win in the end? Our experts’ predictions.

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Steve Flink: “Jannik Sinner Will Be a Top 10 Player by the US Open”

The Hall-of-Famer journalist comments on Hurkacz’s surprise win in Miami and previews the clay season. Who was the biggest letdown, Medvedev or Zverev? Nadal will soon be world N.2 again, while Andreescu is striving to stay healthy.

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The first Masters 1000 event of the season wrapped up on Sunday, but another already looms in wait in Monte Carlo, and on a different surface. To comment on the situation of the two tours, Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta was joined by his colleague Steve Flink: they focused on Hubert Hurkacz’s surprise win as well as on Jannik Sinner’s great run in Florida – Asheigh Barty’s permanence atop the rankings was also discussed. Here’s their chat:

 

00:00 – The man of the hour is Hubert Hurkacz: “He had an amazing run, defeating five players with a better ranking than his!” What was the key strategy in his final win over Sinner?

07:30 – This was the first Masters 1000 event since 2005 not to feature either Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, or Murray – a wasted chance for Daniil Medvedev? He started as the clear favourite, but his attitude against Bautista Agut left something to be desired…

12.50 – What lies ahead for Sinner? Some of the greatest names in the game did well in Miami in the past – a sign of things to come?

16.20 – Hurkacz betrayed some nerves against Rublev and Sinner, but held on to serve those matches out. Sinner, on the other hand, wasted a 6-5 lead in the opening set – what can he do to improve?

22.50 – Whose great champion does Hurkacz’s serve remind Ubaldo and Steve of? A look at the other players who underperformed in Miami, starting with Tsitsipas and Rublev.

32.00 – “Alexander Bublik reminds me of Safin, he’s an entertainer and he is not boring in press conferences!” What about Sebastian Korda – does he have the mettle of a champion?

40.00 – The women’s tournament: “I expected a great final, but Andreescu was clearly spent – I hope she’ll manage to stay healthy.” Was Osaka’s no-show against Sakkari a worrying sign?

45.30 – If the Canadian is healthy, will she join Osaka and Barty as the defining players of the decade? Who else could make a run to the top?

49.30 – This week, 10 Italian players feature in the ATP Top 100 – will at least one of them feature at the ATP Finals in Turin?

Transcript by Antonio Flagiello; translated and edited by Tommaso Villa

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(VIDEO) Miami Open Final Preview: Jannik Sinner Is The Favourite But Don’t Underestimate Hurkacz

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta analyses the Miami Open final where a brand new Masters 1000 champion will be crowned.

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Jannik Sinner - ATP Miami 2021 (via Twitter, @atptour)

Earlier this year Jannik Sinner and Herbert Hurkacz were on the same side of the court playing doubles on the ATP Tour. However, today in Miami they will be facing off against each other with the biggest title in their careers at stake. Both players have already shown impressive tennis in the tournament with 19-year-old rising star Sinner fighting back from a set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Poland’s Hurkacz has beaten three top 10 seeds en route to the final.

 

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Steve Flink: “Naomi Osaka Will Win At Least A Dozen Slams”

The American tennis writer comments on the women’s singles event at the Australian Open. Can Brady win a Major? Is there any hope left for Serena Williams’ quest to clinch her 24th title?

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Naomi Osaka has been crowned as the queen of Melbourne for the second time. The 23-year-old beat Jennifer Brady in the final, conquering her fourth Slam title (all of them on hardcourts), and looks poised to dominate women’s tennis for years. Conversely, current world N.1 Ashleigh Barty couldn’t find her best tennis when she needed it most, bowing out as soon as she met some resistance. These are some of the themes that Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta and his Hall-of-Famer colleague tackled during the second part of their chat.

 

Here’s the video: 

00:00 – “Osaka’s success was hardly a surprise…” 

01:55 – “The only time she struggled was when she had to rally from two match points and a break down against Muguruza in the fourth round – did she raise her level or was it the Spaniard who went missing in the clutch?” 

06:07 – What can the Japanese player still improve in her game? 

09:15 – “I don’t see why she shouldn’t win at the French Open or at Wimbledon as well, although she might struggle a little more on the clay.” How many Majors can she win? 

12:05 – Jen Brady had a dream run to the final despite not being able to train for two weeks prior to the Aussie Slam – can she make it in the future? 

16:34 – “Barty wasn’t able to find her rhythm again after Muchova called an MTO in the second set, that’s too bad because she could have played the final two matches in front of her home crowd.” 

18:28 – “Serena Williams was distraught after her defeat to Osaka, but she had an excellent tournament, beating both Sabalenka and Halep.” Was she perhaps too hard on her chances? 

25:30 – To get her 24th Major, Serena will need to play seven great matches in a row – can she still do it? “My dream is to see a Williams-Osaka match-up in a Wimbledon final…”

31:53 – Was Kenin the biggest letdown of the event? “She had an appendicectomy a few days after the event, and the pressure may have been too much for her, but I think she will keep being a contender for the biggest titles.” 

Transcript and translation by Gianluca Sartori; edited by Tommaso Villa

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